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ISLANDERS last night rejected the idea of a dedicated minister to represent their needs in the Scottish Government.
THE Scottish Government came under renewed attack over its National Conversation today after it revealed nearly £100,000 of extra funding was going into the project.
ALEX Salmond's long-awaited "bonfire of the quangos" was unveiled yesterday and immediately condemned as a "damp squib" that would make no real difference to the size or the cost of the public sector in Scotland.
MINISTERS have vowed to cut the cost of official publications in Scotland as it emerged the total bill is now running at £10 million.
THE minority SNP government has survived to fight another day. Last night its first budget squeaked through by 64 votes to 62 with the support of the Tories and Margo MacDonald, the independent MSP. The two Green MSPs abstained.
BILLIONAIRE tycoon Donald Trump last night rejected accusations that he was a bully as he gave the clearest signal yet that he is prepared to be patient and wait for the decision of the Scottish Government over his £1 billion plan for the "world's greatest golf course".
A SENIOR minister from Jack McConnell's former administration has blown the whistle on a culture of waste at the heart of Scottish Government, revealing how his colleagues were routinely manipulated by senior civil servants who demanded cash for their departments purely "as a symbol of their virility".
IT WILL be his crowning moment of a quite astonishing year. When Alex Salmond bounds on to the stage of a packed Osprey arena at the Macdonald hotel in Aviemore at 3:30pm today, to the inevitable standing ovation, the First Minister of Scotland will know he has truly made it.
A BLUEPRINT for simplifying Scotland's bureaucratic planning system is to be drawn up by the First Minister's new council of economic advisers, which met for the first time yesterday.
THE Scottish Parliament resumes today, with an ambitious programme of work including reforming the law on rape, abolishing bridge tolls and outlawing airguns.
THE phone call yesterday to the senior party official only took 10 minutes but it confirmed plenty: Scotland's new ministerial team are for hire.
THE Scottish Executive is to be renamed the Scottish Government this week in the biggest change to the country's political identity since devolution.
THE SNP was last night plunged into a cash-for-access row after a Scotland on Sunday investigation revealed the party is selling time with First Minister Alex Salmond and senior ministers in return for payments worth thousands of pounds.
THE Tories demanded the new Scottish Executive cut costs last night after it emerged that £9,000 is being spent every working day on government publications in Scotland.
SCOTLAND'S senior civil servant has courted further political controversy by criticising the UK government for failing to properly communicate with the Scottish Executive during the row over Tony Blair's treaty negotiations with Libya.
DOZENS of items have been stolen from Scottish Executive buildings over the last two years, it was revealed yesterday.
ALEX Salmond is set for a showdown with Whitehall over his plans to fund Scottish schools and hospitals through a bond issue scheme, after the Treasury insisted the Executive had no powers to borrow.
PLANS by the Scottish Executive to set up a register of tartans will be a cosmetic exercise and will not protect designs from commercial exploitation, it has been claimed.